December’s Powerful Word Is Open-Mindedness

Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts.

It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.

This month’s Powerful Word is OPEN-MINDEDNESS.

Here’s a video from Dr. Robyn Silverman in which she introduces some of the concepts we’ll be covering this month:

As it is December, we are fortunate to see many cultures observe a variety or different holidays and traditions during the course of the month.

When we are open-minded, we can celebrate the differences highlighted at these times, learn from one another, and recognize that there are similarities among us all.

The holidays and traditions become a wonderful vehicle for teaching our children about tolerance, acceptance, appreciation and respect of others who celebrate differently than we do.

Keeping an open mind can also afford children the benefit of trying new activities, eating new foods and meeting new people.

Such exploration can reveal new favorites and may even show our children better ways of doing things.

Behaving in an open-minded way can be challenging for young children who have difficulty seeing ideas from other people’s perspectives.

They often believe their way is THE way! Therefore, patience is in order when explaining open-mindedness to youngsters.

Older children can open their minds more to issues of tolerance and diversity. We will discuss what it means to “judge a book by it’s cover” and how, by being open-minded, we can learn about different cultures and customs without bias or prejudice.

We may not always agree, but we can show respect for different ways of thinking and for other people’s feelings.

We will be discussing a variety of different facets of open-mindedness to our students this month.

According to the latest research, for children, understanding prejudice,stereotypes, acceptance and open-mindedness must be formally taught.

“Young children’s expectations about experiencing prejudice will be shaped by the beliefs that are communicated to them by adults,” while older children are more apt to rely on their own experience to shape their views (March, 2012).

We look forward to partnering with you on discussing open-mindedness this month.

To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing over this month:

Week 1 Open-mindedness defined: The benefits of and barriers to trying new things
Week 2 New ideas: How can we be open to different ways of doing things?
Week 3 New people: Introductions, stereotypes, prejudice, differences & similarities
Week 4 Celebration: How can we honor different holidays, languages & appearances?

About Dr. Robyn:
Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist, body image/body bullying expert, sought-after speaker and award-winning writer, is known for her no-nonsense yet positive approach to helping young people and their families thrive. Her ground-breaking research at Tufts University on young women is the foundation for her book, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.”

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